Developer Community Outreach from Cloudera: Better, Faster, More

Hello World: This is my first post as the new guy facilitating and coordinating developer community outreach for Cloudera. I am extremely excited to become a new node in the Apache Hadoop ecosystem and involved in the global, thriving community of developers coding against Hadoop and its related projects.

My most recent experience involves deep interest in the Java ecosystem – which achieved ubiquity not only for technical reasons, but also thanks to a vast group of passionate users who committed themselves to Java’s adoption. There are many lessons there for those of us who want to see the Hadoop edition meet that standard.

How do we get there? At this early stage, compared to very mature ecosystems, knowledge about Hadoop development and admin is concentrated in a smaller number of people. For that reason, organic crowdsourcing is still inefficient. Instead, we need to unlock the brains of Hadoop ecosystem rock stars, inside as well as outside Cloudera, and make them accessible to the community at large (not literally, of course). At the same time, we need to help more efficiently bring your feedback and experience into the community.

If you were to ask me about focus areas for meeting those goals, the list would include:

  • Helping user groups conquer the world. User group members, and especially their leaders, are the epitome of the passionate user – and passionate users are lifeblood. For that reason, we will double-down on our support for Hadoop, HBase, and related UGs worldwide – by providing more sponsorships, speakers and content (tech talks only, no sales or marketing!), swag, and other things we haven’t thought of yet whenever it’s reasonably possible. Involved in a user group? Please get in touch – whether you have a specific request or simply want to say hello.
  • Encouraging sharing. Do you have a story about a deployment to tell or other tips/experiences to share? We want to give you a platform for doing that on this very blog. Again, send me a note if the idea of being a published author, or alternatively of being interviewed about your experience, interests you.
  • Driving direct participation in the Apache Hadoop project and related projects. Open source technology is only as strong as its community. If you found a bug, why stand by on the sidelines? Report it, or even better, write and submit a patch yourself. We’ll offer advice over time about why, and the best way, to do this.
  • Introducing you to the team. Fairly soon I hope to get a formal “Meet the Engineer” series up and running for this blog, so that you can learn about the background, technical interests, and personal experiences of the Cloudera engineers and product managers who have the fortune of working on Hadoop-related Apache projects as their day job.
  • Making learning easy and fun. When the learning curve is relatively steep, it’s important that the initial development experience be not only unintimidating and productive, but also fun. We’ll be experimenting with methods – such as portable hackathons, virtual workshops, developer kits/cookbooks, and others things – for doing that.

These are just a few of my initial thoughts. Have any other ideas? Would be great to see them in comments.

To stay up to date about these initiatives in near real-time, follow me at @kestelyn.

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